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Old 01-09-2019, 12:00 AM   #421 (permalink)
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I'm a big butterfly fan from way back. Monarchs rule!

On the pest topic, my parents the uber-gardeners were telling me how much trouble they get from ticks nowadays up in Missouri in the spring and summer. Say it's much worse than back when I was growing up there due to the warmer weather.

But on a brighter fauna note, I also saw a wild turkey there and a little family of deer, that was cool. And also what I think was a fox, my mom says they get a lot of those. They have 8 acres there, very beautiful. Good for the soul too!
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Old 01-09-2019, 10:55 AM   #422 (permalink)
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Cool stuff Caramel about the Black Cherry Tree
and all those Monarch Butterflies.....so cool and
curious that I ran right over to Google to find out
more about it.

Here's one page of info I found right away....

Black Cherry (Prunus serotina) for NABA certified butterfly gardens.


When you said Ambrosia....I immediately smiled
and thought about the bakery I worked at called
Ambrosia Bakery with sooooo many delicious cakes,
sweets that if it were open to the butterfly population,
im sure they would be feasting in there everyday.

Or......Ambrosia Fruit Salad I learned to make when
I was a child for the holiday meals. Yummy....


As of now, I dont think I have the space for a beautiful
black cherry tree....but if I could find a dwarf size one,
then i'd sure like to give it a try just so I can have many
butterflies in my yard.

I still have 2 Monarch butterflies close by to watch.
We are due for a cooler front tonight
but nothing in the freezing tempt. until Monday with
a low of 33..... I'll have to get my garden green blankets
out to cover a few plants or take them into the shed.


In the meantime...…


Snazzy, with you living next door to me in Tx....
your weather is kinda similar to us here in B.R.
and you should see Monarchs there too. Right?

Grab you a few Milkweed plants and watch them
come to you. Start your own Butterfly garden.


I didn't know you could have ticks in your garden?

Maybe because ive never seen them or come face
to face with them. Do they go to certain plants? And
which ones do your parents have that ticks are causing
trouble.....let me know so I can send the army after
them to march them right outta there.....lol



I bet where they live is absolutely wonderful,
especially when they get to see wildlife like
deer. Of course anytime you have wildlife you
have to protect your home and yard so they
dont damage anything or take out your crop. Right?

I remember seeing deer at a park I use to walk
at when I was living in Houston. Harris County.
It wasnt too many times I saw them and wondered
how they could be in our area of town. But I tell
you what, when I did see them, I was star struck,
like I had never seen a deer alive in my life.

Anyway.....

Here in B.R. I haven't seen any deer. oh dear...

Oh well.....

This morning after getting a few more supplies
for the pool pump at Lowes, I grab a small pack
of Alyssum seeds for the first time to give them
a try. These were called a Carpet of Snow and are
white flowers.

Then on the way home we stopped at a local
nursery to see if they had and Pentas.....as we
got out of the car, I spotted a little set up right
outside their store which looked like sale items.

Right out front I spotted some small plants
that were little white clusters flowers. Hmmmm,
I was curious and looked at the little tag.....sure
enough they were those Alyssum flowers in
white and another in a pretty purple....for about
6 bucks.....hmmmmm…... I'll need to see if they
have more somewhere else besides up front.

Okay.....a little ways down we walked and sure
enough we saw more of those cute little cluster
of flowers....but in a smaller pot with no price....

Off my husband went to ask the lady about
the difference and the price. The one at $6
would grow taller where as the other one
at 1.99 would grown short …….so I grabbed
the less expensive ones, 2 white and one
purple along with a Dill plant and left a happy
camper.

Dill (Anethum graveolens) is a host plant for caterpillars : Gardens With Wings

Did you say you grow your Alyssum in pots Mark?

With the tempts going up and down around
here right mow, all our bugs and flowers are going crazy.

Come on Spring.
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Old 01-09-2019, 04:34 PM   #423 (permalink)
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Hmmm, I wouldn’t mind having one of those black cherry trees myself.

The alyssum I’ve had has generally come in those combo plant baskets as a spiller over the edge. It stops blooming and suffers a bit during the summer heat but I had some survive and start blooming again when things cooled off so it piqued my interest. I was willing to spend the sum of $2 on a pack of seeds when I picked up the moonflower seed with the idea of thickly planting a pot full of the mixed color alyssum seeds. I don’t know much about starting plants from seed but thought it’d be fun to experiment. Here in the Jackson area the alyssum I’ve had starts fading in May and pepping up in October.

I lived in Houston myself for my first job after college. It was quite a change for this country guy to be working way up high in 1600 Smith Street. Originally I lived near downtown but soon enough moved up to Spring where there were more trees! There is a great place called Mercer arboretum and botanic garden that I discovered very near my apartment. It was so nice to go there after spending all day downtown. I’d love to see it again one day, but I generally only pass through the airport these days.
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Old 01-09-2019, 10:20 PM   #424 (permalink)
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The tree full of butterflies I saw was a winter-flowering cherry, Prunus subhirtella:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prunus_subhirtella

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Old 01-10-2019, 12:43 AM   #425 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aasharon90 View Post

I didn't know you could have ticks in your garden?

Maybe because ive never seen them or come face
to face with them. Do they go to certain plants? And
which ones do your parents have that ticks are causing
trouble.....let me know so I can send the army after
them to march them right outta there.....lol
Their current day garden is in the field back of the house that they've sorta colonized and civilized since we lived there back when, and I think the ticks never got the memo, still think it's wilderness. I mean if you've got a tick trouble you know it quick, they're hanging off of you and sucking on your blood haha! I'd guess your garden is safe territory, Sharon.
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Old 01-10-2019, 12:09 PM   #426 (permalink)
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How many of our SR gardeners, plant,
flower, butterfly, bugs, nature lovers
began this as a child? Did you have family
of gardeners? Did you just fall in love
with all this garden as an adult?

When did you actually become interested
in it is what im trying to ask?

Like for me...….

I had 2 grandfathers, one was a barber
and remember riding down to his house
to get fresh parsley he had growing around
his clothes line pole.

Then my dad's dad had a huge garden that
he plowed every yr with Summer and Winter
fresh vegetables he'd give us to enjoy.

As a child, there were quite a many times I
was sent outside for the day, not allowed inside.
As a way to pass the time away I would mow
our corner lot yard front and back. Then clean
under all the hedges, rake, bag leaves, hand
edge with a machete along the sidewalk because
we had no electric one like available today.

Let's just say that I learned about manual labor
at a young age which spilled over into my adult
life with jobs like hauling in grocery carts at HEB
when living in Houston for a little part time job.

Yep, I enjoyed that a lot. It was like them paying
me to exercise everyday and not throw money
away at a health club I couldn't commit to. Also,
being able to work outside thru all the different
seasons.....we'll that was what I enjoyed the most.


Back to my childhood..... I had an Aunt that own
a flower shop and never forgot how amazing it
smelled in there with all those flower arrangements.

To this day, I cant go grocery shopping and
not stop at the floral department and smell the
flowers and open the refrigerator with arrangements
ready to buy. I stick my head way inside and
sniff really big to get my lungs full of that fresh
flower smell...….it's to die for.


When I had my little family, I did all the yard
work, manicuring everything to perfection. Not
much really into planting tho. After yard work
which took me 4 hours or so, I was whooped.


Then, it wasn't until I came back home from
Houston in 2006 and with in the past 10
yrs that I really got into gardening and making
our backyard into a garden of paradise to work
in and enjoy.


Okay guys...it's your turn....
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Old 01-10-2019, 05:41 PM   #427 (permalink)
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My grandparents grew their own green- and root-veges, and raspberries, gooseberries, apples and flowers - roses, delphiniums, sweet william, lilies.

My parents had a vege garden - peas, sweet corn, lettuce, tomatoes, beans, grape-vine, and stone-fruit, pip-fruit and citrus trees - and I had a small part with radishes, lettuce and carrots from when I was about 11.
I used to love to weed my mother's flower garden and still remember the flowers she grew.

I loved reading stories about children who made gardens.
Also loved nature-study in general, learned to identify plants, birds and butterflies, kept caterpillars and tadpoles, read everything by Gerald Durrell.

I find flower-scents evoke powerful and delightful memories and associations.
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Old 01-11-2019, 02:47 AM   #428 (permalink)
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That's awesome Caramel especially that you
fell in love with flowers and gardens right
there in your childhood home. We learn just
about everything right in our home with parents
as our teachers.

With both of my parents working I one of 4
siblings took on the role of housekeeper day
in and day out till I left home at 18. All the bushes
around our home were traditional Azaleas,
boxwood, Ligustrum's that lined the fence around
the yard, huge pine bushes towards the street
area....No flower beds.

If we needed flowers for the month of May
to celebrate Mary in church we had to ride
down the street to find someone who had
flowers in the yard to cut. Not sure why we
weren't allowed to go to the flower shop for
some.


Anyway.....It's never too long to learn something
that gives you so much joy and at 60 im still learning
and am in love with flowers of all sorts.


You last sentence you wrote Caramel speaks
volumes and I definitely agree, so thank you for
that.


Here's a link to Home Depot on Sweet Williams
that I am seeing a lot of. I dont have them in my
garden, but now that you mentioned it and have
done a little more research on it......Home Depot,
im on my way to get some.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Spring-H...1169/307774866
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Old 01-11-2019, 05:11 AM   #429 (permalink)
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Ive got a new project in mind. Well, ive thought
about it awhile back while looking at how to make our
cinder block garden.

Here it is Ö..

https://fabeveryday.com/2014/04/diy-...lock-benc.html

Yep, a cinder block bench to sit on and rest
while we continue to slowly build our cinder block
garden.

What do you think?
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Old 01-11-2019, 12:43 PM   #430 (permalink)
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It's kinda nice when I get to have the house
to myself even if it's for an hour or 2. The
reason why is....I can get something done.
Not as much as I want to, but I can get one
little thing accomplished that i've been wanting
to get done for a long time now.

For example…..

When it rains the water that runs off the
front roof which is kinda steep, pours down
onto the bed below and continues to flood
and then there is a low spot where the dirt
has been washed away over time exposing
roots from bushes.

Anyway.....I see that that is a problem spot
taking away from the beauty of the front
yard and want it fixed. However, hubby has
had this house longer than me living here
and evidently it hasn't bothered him at all.

Anyway....

He is away right now, so I hurried up quickly
grabing 3 bags of top soul to fill in the low spot
and ran to the back yard where I have large
silver pavers as stepping stones, hauled 2 thru
the living room to the front door and house
to place over the dirt and below the part of the
roof where rain water pours quickly and heavily.

Tomorrow we are due for a large amount
of rain and now I cant wait to see if I solved
that problem.... Crossing fingers, I hope so.

Other than that, ive been keeping an eye
on my 2 Monarchs and they are still nestled
in an Dwarf Azalea bush growing in my above
garden box right near my garage. From
what I can tell, they are slowly maturing
into pretty orange and black Monarchs.

I am sooo invested in them that I worry
when I dont see them immediately. Like
children. When you turn your back they
have disappeared or move quickly out
of our sights.
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Old 01-11-2019, 05:37 PM   #431 (permalink)
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Hi all.

I like the bench Sharon. So much flexibility with design using those blocks. Allows you a bit of creativity.

I agree with you as well Caramel. Perhaps Iím more nostalgic as the years go by, but certain scents take me far and away to the fond memories tucked away in the world of my mind. But more than just sparking memories theyíre evocative, bringing about the sense of being there again if only for a moment. A welcome interlude for sure.

Iíve a few low spot areas in the yard too.

Wishing everyone the best weekend.
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Old 01-12-2019, 06:27 AM   #432 (permalink)
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Ha , I forgot to get to the point of your question Sharon. Typical of me Iíll admit.

Growing up in a rural area I was sometimes required to work in the field and I didnít like it at all. At that time my father had a frightful temper and I was always in dread of when itíd erupt. I also mowed the large lawn and my grandparents lawn with a rider. That was nice as I was alone. I took note, maybe, of the pride my grandparents took in the appearance of their gardens. During my apartment dwelling years I donít remember having any plants inside or even on the patio. It wasnít until owning my first little condo when I had married and was in my final years of academia that I can remember doing a little work in the tiny garden. Likely as a break from my studies as much as anything else. After school with my very first home and growing family something had sparked inside and I was hooked. What pleasure Iíve taken in creating an outside sanctuary to be in and see from inside too. Thereís a reasonable chance that downsizing will be in the future when my youngest is out of the nest but I donít think Iíd ever be content to live somewhere that all outside is maintained for me. I need to be able to create and put my stamp on it.
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Old 01-12-2019, 08:38 AM   #433 (permalink)
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"What pleasure I’ve taken in creating an
outside sanctuary. I need to be able to create
and put my stamp on it."

From all that your've shared and pictures of
your backyard Mark, it looks like you've created
a nice little sanctuary already. Even putting
your "stamp" on it as you say.

Through out my entire life, there were only
several things that I always wanted. One was
to be a mom and have my own children which
I did and am blessed that they have grown into
2 amazing adults with families of their own,
thriving without any kind of addiction.

Second, was to have a place to call home
and not just a house.

It wasn't until I moved back here to B.R.
and remarried and moved into this house
10yrs ago and began making changes to
it, for us, that it has slowly become a "home"
and not just someone else's house I moved
into.

When I first moved here, I wasn't so much into
gardening, because I was still working and newly
married and wanting to ride and take trips on
our Harley Road King. Then, my husband retired
and has had several major surgeries that has kept
us close to home.

When I called it quits on working too, I needed
something to keep me occupied and give me some
exercise outside. So, I began clearing away what
was and transforming the backyard slowly into
what has become my sanctuary or like you said....
put my stamp on it.


During the 35yrs my husband was married
and before his wife passed away due to a long
illness, not addiction tho….she had formed small
gardens all around their house and would spend
hours tending to it.

It was pretty and all, but I didn't want to
work in front of the house, so we cleared
them out leaving just grass to mow. Then
the backyard, I cleared away the beds and
slowly began planting things id enjoy and
would attract birds, butterflies and such.

It has been a work in progress thru each
changing season and dont see an end in
sight. Meaning, as I continue to grow and
mature in recovery, so does my sanctuary.
Evolving into the likeness of myself.

A beautiful creation filled with love,
care, understanding, compassion for
all living things that grow and visit it
each day.

For every bag of soil, every brick, every
paver, every plant, bush, tree, done by
hand, hours spent, sweat, tears, aching
muscles, worry, wonder, you name it....

Im pretty happy to say, I/we have put our
mark on our garden of paradise. Our sanctuary.
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Old 01-12-2019, 02:11 PM   #434 (permalink)
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My goodness that was a lovely post Sharon!

I guess I hadnít thought of it but we do invest so much of ourselves in it all that it does begin to be a reflection.

Well no gardening on this rainy day and not likely tomorrow. My thoughts are now on playoffs and the steak of got in marinade.

Iíve never driven or ridden on a real, grown up motorcycle!
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Old 01-13-2019, 03:42 AM   #435 (permalink)
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It's still early over here as I walked the Suet
feeder to the back pole this morning.

No sign of one of my Monarchs who may
have flown off already. Where to, I dont
know.

I still have one left and will keep an eye
on him or her today as he grows enough
to take flight.

No rain today, yay..!!! Full sun with a high in
the 50's.....however, as I look ahead at the
forecast for the week, I see that next Sundays
low will be 26....brrrrrr….noooooo….

Thank goodness it's not snow and it will
warm up which I love. Come on Spring and
Summer. Ive got things to do ….lol
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Old 01-13-2019, 09:09 AM   #436 (permalink)
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About motorcycles Mark...…

I never had any kind of motorcycle experience
until I was on my own at 18, living in my own
apt., attending LSU which lasted 2 yrs sitting
out 2 semesters in between and working my
first job in a dept. store.

It wasn't much of an experience because I
only rode passenger a couple times and that
was it. Then It wasn't until I married the 2nd
time that I began riding passenger before taking
a riding lesson and getting my endorsement.

I sadly didn't ride solo for long because I
realized how scared I was and there was too
much shifting and footwork....just too much
going on that I chose to ride passenger, look
pretty and enjoy the scenery all at the age of
50.

From my own experience, riding on a motorcycle
is exhilarating. It being about riding outside a vehicle
and have the wind and the sun on you is truly spectacular.
It's a feeling that each biker knows how it feels
within them.

There are many who enjoy riding alone and
there are those who love riding with others.
We, my husband and I enjoy riding alone together.
The journey and trip that is planned and the
destination we reach.

Like the experience of riding thru all types of
weather. Riding different times of the yr. Going
to the Grand Canyon, Sturgis, Daytona and riding
thru each and every state in between.

Sturgis and Daytona where you ride amongst
millions of other motorcyclist. All the sights
and sounds of a rally. For us, we didn't stay
out late to experience the rowdy, drunk crowds
and what im sure was awesome....concerts....id
go for just that, but the music would start well
passed our bedtime.

However....like us, we'd ride to see the sights
around Sturgis. landmarks, rolling hills....just
amazing to see, feel and experience. Daytona...
we'd stay in a hotel on the beach and sit outside
between rides just to listen to the waves coming
on shore. Relaxing and peaceful away from crowds.

Anyway.....

you will never know if youd like riding until
you try it. Take the riding course and who knows,
your own motorcycle.

I wrote in Bikers in Recovery for each trip
we took and stayed connected to SR writing
about my experience if youd like to read it.

There are a few other bikers that chime in
from time to time that are also in recovery
here in SR Too.

Okay back to gardening.....
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Old 01-13-2019, 11:06 AM   #437 (permalink)
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Brrrrrrr….it's chilly outside esp. with the wind
blowing making it feel cooler outside than what
the tempt. actually says. 47 with light wind...

Soooooo, I went for a quick walk about the
backyard and …..surprise...…. I found that the
little pupa that was on a steel pole had hatched
its Monarch. That was one, then walking around
again, I found another new monarch on the
concrete like it was newly hatched too. OMGoodness….


I know I saw a bunch of catapillars in the late Fall,
so there may possibly a bunch of little pupa shells
hanging and waiting to hatch. And they are hard to
see because they are greenish in color to match
leaves on most all my bushes.

I know I cant get too excited because with
this strange weather we are having, who
knows what will happen to the Monarchs
in my yard. I just dont know?????
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Old 01-14-2019, 04:07 AM   #438 (permalink)
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I can see the allure of a motorcycle out on the open roads, especially scenic back roads. Sounds like yíall have had some great adventures.

No gardening news from here. In terms of the yard this may be the least active month or so of the year for me. In another month or so my thoughts will turn to spring projects. I had a thing or two in mind but the expense of the water heater disaster dictates a reduced budget on my plans.

Cloudy and forty-ish temps today. When I retire Iím going to chose Monday mornings as my favorite time of week. Not that Iím rushing it.

Oh I did have goldfinches yeasterday, so that was good. And the saints won, so decent end to the weekend.
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Old 01-14-2019, 04:54 AM   #439 (permalink)
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I definitely understand set backs when it
comes to having to wait for a project we'd
rather be enjoying and not something life
throws at us when least expected. Like a
major appliance breaking or something
we normally dont think about falls apart.

We all go thru that in daily life. It now
comes down to how we handle these
situations. Do we balk or do we turn
back to our addiction that would make
matters worse or do we choose to
accept our situation and that this often
happens to everyone and just fix it
better than before and move on.

We had that 4 inch snow fall last Winter
that took down our poles and shade
cloth as well as our pool cover. All a
disaster we didn't prepare well for.

So that situation required getting a
man out to assess the damage and
wait for the insurance to do its thing
before moving on to making repairs
which was done by my husband, except
for the pool liner which took the guys
to spend several day going thru the
process.

Eventually all was back in place by the
middle of last yr and was able to enjoy
the Summer exercising in the pool and
working in the gardens.

Oh, and I didn't mention about having
to replace a refrigerator that wasn't that
old, but had a glitch in the fan motor
and for that we had to go thru the whole
process of replacing it.

Thank God I am in recovery or else I
would have drank myself into oblivion
over lifes uncertain disaster. whew..!!!

This yr. so far so good and we just take
it a day at a time and do the next best thing
to make our life as simple, less stressful
as possible. Right?

Retirement is just another chapter in
our lives and we work towards its like
a destination we will eventually get to.


Stay positive and take care of todays
business to the best of your ability and
more good things to enjoy will be waiting
for you around the corner.

I'm glad you were rootin for the Saints too.
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8-11-90

I turn my will and life over to the care of a Power greater than I on a daily basis for guidance, care and protection.
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Old 01-14-2019, 07:08 AM   #440 (permalink)
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While out and about yesterday morning, we
stopped at our local Home Depot because I
was inspired by you Caramel with what you
shared about Sweet Williams and wanted to
get some for my garden.

Not much available in the color white or red,
lots of pinks tho. So I grabbed 2 white and the
only red one and now they are home with me.

Still a bit chilly outside right now, but was able
to spray a couple vinyl fence panels with Clorox
to get them white again esp. with all the rain we've
been having and dampness.

Anyway, i'm inside for a little while while my hands
thaw out. Hmmmm....maybe I should use
some gloves, huh? With the light wind and low
temps and no sun at 9am, my hands are numb now....lol

High of 54 today with a low of 35.....brrrrr shiver me timbers.
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Baton Rouge, La.
8-11-90

I turn my will and life over to the care of a Power greater than I on a daily basis for guidance, care and protection.
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